The Primacy of Politics? Arms Imports and Political Relations of the Visegrád Countries 1999–2020
Copyright (c) 2022 Gyula Speck
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International commerce can be determined by the political climate between the exporter and the importer. Arms transfers are a much complex process, where beyond economic factors, alliance ties, security perception and defence planning are also considered. Still, they might not be independent of political relations. This paper aims to capture the arms supplier–recipient relations between the Visegrád countries and Russia, the United States and Germany from 1999 to 2020. More specifically, how do the two factors affect each other: are good political relations necessary for arms deals? Or do arms deals facilitate a friendly political climate? Our conclusion is as follows. On the one hand, a cooperative political climate increases the probability of arms deals, but they are not a necessity, as mutual benefits and security perceptions can override the current political climate. On the other hand, however, arms transfers can deepen cooperation or alleviate the existing differences between the parties.
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